Fruit and Veg, Veg and Fruit. If you read my previous article ‘It’s Veg & Fruit…Not Fruit & Veg’ you’ll have got the gist of my take on the 5-a-day, 7-a-day, 10-a-day drive the government have pushed with some success in recent years. A variety of fruit and veg, but more veg than fruit.
In fact, my argument is that the sugar content of veg is so low (for the most part), and the fibre and water content is high that, in reality, veg can and should be eaten relatively freely, especially compared to fruit!
Veg is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre (mainly insoluble) which is great for digestive health and toilet habits, but also useful as a prebiotic for our microflora (gut bacteria) which is basically the future of good health.
So why limit it?
OK, limits are recommendations at the best of times anyway, everybody is different after all. Limiting cola intake makes absolute sense, limiting sweets and chocolate intake is understandable, the public can even get their heads around limiting fruit intake, it is a lot of sugar per serving to be fair (albeit with plenty of fibre too).
But why veg!? What has veg ever done to our health other than support and strengthen it?
Consequently it is a bit of a mystery to me why nutritionists stress over the quantity of vegetables their clients are having. I get it, some nutritionists worry about starch, or they consider the fibre content and the impact on the gut (bloating and distension and urgency for the loo), but from a calorie point of view, why worry!
Come on now people, we have bigger courgettes to fry than this, surely!?
in my opinion veg intake should only be limited by your guts. If you feel full, stop, if you need the loo within 10mins after consumption, reduce intake a little. If you have noticeable bloating and distension after large portions of veg or veg of a certain kind (striated fibrous, stalky veg such as broccoli, runner beans, spring onions etc) then limit it a little.
However, putting a set grammage on veg intake is futile in my opinion. 90g of mixed veg should be a minimum amount, if you have room left on the plate then fill it with veg guys.
Veg is free, you ain’t gonna get fat on veg. If you’re fat and you eat a lot of veg, I can guarantee there are bigger, more important factors that need addressing first, and if anything…the veg is probably slowing the rate of weight gain.
Oh and before you swan off to dig into a tonne of potatoes, the answer is no…potatoes are not vegetables contrary to common belief.